MythBusters: Cell Phones on Planes
Myths in this episode: Helium Filled Raft and Cell Phones on Planes.
Helium Filled Raft
Myth: A raft filled with helium will not only float itself, but allow a passenger to fly.
Result: Busted using conventional rafts, but of course the MythBusters don't end there. A few calculations tell them that they'd need one heck of a huge "raft" to lift one person, so of course they manage to build one themselves, though it's clearly the larges thing the team has ever built. And since that raft totally fails, the team agrees that this myth is busted, big time.
Cell Phones on Planes
Myth: Cellphones don't interfere with plane instrumentation -- it's a conspiracy to get passengers to pay the higher priced in-flight phones.
Result: Using a faraday cage to block outside interference, the MythBusters set up a few common instruments from jetliners inside while using a cellphone. At 800-900MHz (a common cellphone bandwidthfrequencies), there's definite interference on some of the aircraft instrumentation. Because of federal law, they can't test in the air, though they're able to do so on a grounded private plane., and the tests there show no interference at all. The MythBusters call the conspiracy busted because they believe the airlines are simply not taking any chances with cellphones, since new ones with new frequencies are coming out every day.
Quote of the episode: Adam, in a very helium-high voice: "Once, in
every generation, a myth comes along that does not thrill us. Ha ha ha ha haaaa!"